Islam returned to the fore as the arch-enemy of the West in the 1990s after having been temporarily overshadowed by communism during the Cold War. In Scandinavia, the rising tide of anti-Muslim fever arose concurrently with, firstly, the introduction of neoliberal policies that gradually undermined the Scandinavian model and, secondly, the anxieties produced when national independence gave way to the construction of Europe as a new political community. Of course, migration from countries in which Islam is an important discursive tradition had been going on for decades, but during the Cold War such immigrants were not referred to as Muslims but as Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Iranians, Yugoslavs, Albanians and so on. If they were lumped together, they were called ‘blackheads’ (svartskallar) or ‘blots’ (blattar), epithets they shared with nominally Catholic immigrants from Latin America and southern Europe. At the time, xenophobic opinion knew no religious borders.
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